MATT SPETALNICK AND THOMAS GROVE
April 27, 2014
U.S. President Barack Obama on Sunday said the United States and Europe must join forces to impose sanctions on Russia to stop it destabilizing Ukraine, where armed pro-Russian separatists were for a third day holding eight international observers prisoner.
Washington and Brussels are expected, possibly as early as Monday, to name new people and firms close to Russian President Vladimir Putin who will be hit by punitive measures, but there is no consensus yet on wider economic sanctions.
Speaking during a visit to Malaysia, Obama said any decision on whether to slap sanctions on sectors of the Russian economy at a later time would depend on whether the United States and its allies could find a unified position on how to proceed.
“We’re going to be in a stronger position to deter Mr. Putin when he sees that the world is unified and the United States and Europe is unified rather than this is just a U.S.-Russian conflict,” Obama told reporters.